Orlando International braces for nearly pre-pandemic traffic for Memorial Day
A TSA worker, right, checks a passenger before entering a security screening at Orlando International Airport Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated Tuesday that 52% of airport employees tested positive for COVID-19 but Phil Brown, CEO of Orlando International Airport, said in a statement Wednesday that last week's rate of positive cases from the 500 workers tested last week was only 0.4%. Photo via AP/John Raoux

coronavirs airport
Capacity at the airport is only growing.

Orlando International Airport expects nearly 800,000 passengers to fly within the six-day travel window for the Memorial Day holiday.

“Traditionally, Memorial Day has not been the busiest travel period at Orlando International, however, we are staffing up and are prepared for more passengers this year than usual,” said Kevin Thibault, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, in a statement. “If you are planning to travel, please give yourself plenty of extra time to navigate through the parking, check-in and security processes.”

MCO expects this year’s Memorial Day figures to be only 10,000 departures less than 2019 pre-pandemic numbers for the holiday. The numbers are also up 11% from 2021’s Memorial Day weekend. The airport’s figures come as the tourism industry in Orlando is rapidly rebounding and returning to normal after the pandemic shut down the parks, hotels and restaurants in 2020.

The busiest travel day will be Friday, May 27 with 68,200 people departing, the airport said. Both Saturday, May 28 and Monday, May 30, more than 67,000 people are expected to depart the airport daily.

“Travelers should arrive inside the airport terminal at least two hours prior to flight departure time,” according to an airport news release.

With more than 40 million passengers in 2021, Orlando’s airport was ranked one of the busiest in the country and No. 1 in the state.

Capacity at the airport is only growing, too.

Orlando International Airport plans to open its new $2.75 billion Terminal C in September. International flights are scheduled to begin Sept. 19 with domestic operations starting Sept. 26, the airport announced last month.

Airport officials said they wanted to open after the busy Labor Day holiday in order for a smooth transition.

“We want to ensure that from day one, Terminal C will be ready to accommodate our growing air service demands while providing the utmost in customer convenience,” said Carson Good, Board chair of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, in a news release. “Going ‘Beyond the Orlando Experience’ has always been our goal for this facility and we’re confident that when it opens, it will exceed those expectations.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

One comment

  • Fault

    May 30, 2022 at 11:34 am

    Labor day I go Holiday memorial I go remembrance and changes in my ways

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn